Garnkirk Farms site approved for 392 units in Clarksburg -- Gazette.Net







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This story was corrected on June 20, 2013. An explanation follows the story.

Work could begin in about a year on a new walkable community in Clarksburg that includes a mix of both owner-occupied and rental housing.

Called Garnkirk Farms, the 392-unit project off Shawnee Road near Clarksburg High School will comprise 18 single-family houses, 190 townhouses and 184 apartments.

“We're proud of this plan,” said Shane Pollin, development director for the Duffie Cos. of Silver Spring, during a county Planning Board meeting on May 30.

“It was developed with a lot of input from the community, and we think it shows,” said Pollin, about Duffie's redesign of the original plan to create a more pedestrian-friendly community that is more in keeping with the Clarksburg Master Plan.

“I love the fact that there's a mix of different housing types in the same community,” said Planning Board Chairwoman Françoise Carrier at the end of the May 30 discussion of the plan.

Duffie Cos. has not picked a builder yet for the project, but work could start in about a year on the site, said Pollin in an email.

Details about the size of the units and the cost to buy or rent them will depend a lot on the builder, he said.

Pollin also said Duffie Cos. has not developed other projects similar to Garnkirk Farms in Montgomery County, but it is working on a similar development in the City of Frederick.

The Planning Board's May 30 approvals of both the site plan and preliminary plan require that the developer improve the access to nearby Clarksburg High School by adding a right-turn lane off Md. 355, or Old Frederick Road, at Foreman Boulevard.

As part of the approval, Duffie Cos. also is required to build two lanes of the eventual four-lane extension of Observation Drive north from Shawnee Lane.

The two lanes would run about 1,700 feet along the eastern boundary of the Garnkirk Farms site.

Bisecting the 37-acre rectangular site from east to west will be a centrally located “amenities” strip that will include a clubhouse, pool, play area and amphitheater, planners said.

Also included is a pool for the apartment complex at the southeast corner of the site, as well as smaller open spaces with tot lots in other areas of the community.

At least 1,000 parking spaces will be required for the site, which is covered with trees. About 29 acres of trees will be cut down. Some trees, meanwhile, will be planted on the northeast corner of the site, which borders a low-density residential area.

A transit stop also is planned on Observation Drive at Garnkirk Farms, but officials say that the Corridor Cities Transitway envisioned to connect the Shady Grove Metro stop in Derwood to Clarksburg and eventually to Frederick is years away.

“I do wish we had some transit to serve Clarksburg,” said Carrier, expressing concern about residents being unable to go places without a car.

Correction: The original headline on this story online gave the wrong number of units.